Elizabeth: April 1588, 11-15

Pages 278-294

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 4, January-June 1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.

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April 1588, 11–15

April 11. Walsingham to the Commissioners.
In spite of the protests that the preparations how made in Spain are not against her Majesty or her dominions; she wishes you to take some apt opportunity … to procure some assurance, as well from the Duke as from themselves, that the said preparations are in no sort intended against her; letting fall some speech that you see plainly; without some such assurance (considering the advertisements which her Majesty receiveth from sundry places to the contrary) there may fall out some matter that may greatly interrupt the present treaty in hand …
“I am particularly also to let your lordships understand that her Majesty can in no sort like that any speeches should be uttered as though she did beg a peace; being persuaded that the King of Spain standeth in as great need thereof as herself; and did therefore greatly mislike with Dr. Rogers' preamble in his speech delivered unto the Duke at Gaunt; being in very troth fond and vain. I am commanded by a particular letter to let him understand how much her Majesty is offended withal; which I have performed by this despatch.
Endd. “Copy of my letter to the Earl of Derby and the L. Cobham, of 11 April, 1588.” 1¼ pp. [Ibid. f. 80.]
Draft for the above letter. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 84.]
April 11. The Queen to the Commissioners.
“We have of late been made acquainted with certain letters of yours written to our Council, containing certain points wherein you desire our resolution, for answer whereof you shall understand:—
“First, touching the cessation of arms, our pleasure is, you shall proceed therein according to the direction contained in our last letters … for that we do not hold it in any sort honourable for us that the said treaty shall proceed unless the towns now remaining in our possession be provided for during the colloquy.”
Secondly, as to the King's commission; if you find it either given them from the King or the Duke (being fully authorised from the King) then you may proceed in the Treaty; “so as they give you a true copy, collated and subscribed by the said Commissioners; otherwise to forbear, and to advertise us of your proceedings herein; to the end you may receive from us further directions in that behalf.”
Lastly, as it appears by speech from the Duke to you, Doctor Rogers “that he could like best that all matters of griefs and unkindness should be wrapped up without recital, we cannot in any sort assent thereunto … for that it might work a kind of condemnation of our proceedings towards the said King, in case we should not make known unto him, by acquainting his commissioners, what may be said for our defence and justification in those points wherewith we now stand charged, for lack of answer; wherein, if it would have pleased the King to have vouchsafed to admit our servant Wade into his presence, at such times as we sent him unto Spain, he should have received that information of the whole course of our proceedings towards him, as we cannot conceive so hardly of him as that he should be of so unprincely a disposition but that he would have received satisfaction; and therefore, as well for our justification towards him as towards the world, we think that you should in our name (not with any intent to offend, but to lay open our innocency) (fn. 1) acquaint the Commissioners with such matters as are contained in your Instructions, and certain particular memorials delivered unto you, tending to our justification against such false and malicious imputations as have given out against us.
“Whereby the world may see how unjustly we have been condemned as the principal author and occasioner of the troubles that have fallen out in this part of Christendom; whereas contrariwise if the advice given by us sundry times, both to the King himself and to his ministers in the Low Countries had been followed, the infinite calamities that have sithence happened had been avoided, and those poor afflicted countries restored to their ancient quiet and repose.
Draft, much corrected by Walsingham; and the last paragraph added by him. Endd. with date.pp. [Flanders III. f. 16.]
Copy of the same. Endd. with date.pp. [Ibid. f. 82.]
April 11. The chief States of Friesland to the Earl of Leicester.
As the great zeal and affection which they bear to her Majesty and his Excellency has plunged them, with a great number of honourable men, into danger of imprisonment, banishment and harm to their persons, reputations and substance, and that, moreover, by the ill carriage of the deputies of the States, the whole province of Frize is now in danger of falling into the hands of the King of Spain if this be not provided against by the authority of her Majesty; they have deputed Docko Aysma, brother of the President, “Grietman ou Officier de Ferwerderadel” to go to her Majesty and his Excellency, to pray them to continue their affection towards themselves, the poor afflicted province of Frise, and the inhabitants thereof, who find themselves tyrannically afflicted by certain deputies of the Estates of Frise; and to succour and aid them conformably to the letter which they are writing to her Majesty, and of which they send him a duplicate.
To which deputy they have given charge to represent to her Majesty and his Excellency the whole state of the province, and into what danger and difficulty it has fallen by the subtle practices of the Duke of Parma, who has both secret and public correspondences in all the towns, and has almost gained the heart of all those of the flat country; as his Excellency will understand more fully from their deputy, to whom they by him to give audience and credence as to themselves, and to make thereupon a resolution which may serve for the welfare and preservation of all those well-affectioned to his Excellency, (who are yet in great numbers) and of all the province of Friseland, which relies upon his gracious good will; knowing of no others than himself and her Majesty, after God, to whom to address their complaints, and being confident that he will take them in good part and apply the fitting remedy.—Leeuwaerden, 11 April, 1588, stylo veteri.
Eight signatures. Add. Endd. French.
2 pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 65.]
April 11. The States of Friesland to the Queen.
The pitiful and calamitous state of their province has constrained them to have recourse to her Majesty, for it is impossible, without God's aid and hers that they can any longer hold out against the common enemy, who has already opened correspondence with all the towns and has entirely the hearts and affections of those of the plat pays by the subtle practices of certain deputies of that province who dare publicly to associate with the enemy, and go into Flanders, as is known to all the world. Who does not see that this tends to the utter ruin of the country, the extirpation of the Reformed Religion and of all good patriots, and those well affectioned to her Majesty. But they are confident that her Majesty as nursing mother of the Church of God will espouse the just quarrel of the poor afflicted ones and will oppose these ravenous lions, who cease not day or night, without any form of justice, to trouble and oppress them, by seizure of their persons and goods, by banishment, imprisonment and deprivation of their estates and offices; and in the end will come to the shedding of innocent blood, only because they have upheld the quarrel of her Majesty and the Earl of Leicester.
They have endured these violences without complaint, knowing well that they are not pleasing to the princes or great personages. But seeing that the evil and danger is daily increasing, and that the common enemy is at the gate, they cannot delay longer to advertise her Majesty, humbly praying that she will be pleased to take up their cause, as she has not disdained to receive the complaints of Col. Sonoy, Col. Grunesvelt, those of Utrecht and many others who have thrown themselves into her bosom. And that meanwhile it will please her to give ample commission to Lord Willughby and Counsellor Kyllygrew to use all good means possible (after hearing the parties) to compose the differences between themselves and others well-affectioned to herself on the one hand, and the deputies of Friesland on the other, and that those well-affectioned may be restored to their goods, honours, estates and offices. All this, notwithstanding the resignation of the Earl of Leicester, of which they cannot approve, knowing by what indirect means it has been unworthily practised, and not solemnly dissolved in such manner as the government was accepted; so that they still hold the said Earl to be their governor-general as heretofore.
[Concerning the sending over of Docko Aysma, as in their letter to the Earl of Leicester.]—Leeuwaerden, 11 April, 1588, stylo veteri.
Signed as the previous letter. Add. Endd. French.
2 pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 69.]
Copy of the above. [Ibid. f. 67.]
April 11. Sir John Conway to Burghley.
Where it is complained to her Majesty and the lords that this is a very disorderly garrison through want of discipline, and that I carry a negligent regard of my duty towards her Majesty in giving over much liberty to Barney and Pygot:—I numbly beseech your lordship to suspend your judgment until you shall hear men of a better disposition and knowledge speak, which have been here eye-witnesses. I am to this gentleman, your lordship's son (fn. 2) a stranger, and he is one that can be a more righteous judge in this case than any men, by reason he hath lately, in his travels, seen the government and state of sundry and many garrisons, as well of her Majesty's part as the King's side. I refer myself to his report how her Majesty's soldiers in Ostend sort with other places. I wish to God your lordship did see them and me and all our disorder in a true glass. And the rest of her Majesty's garrisons in the like sort.
I am not of so weak judgment as to complain of being told of my faults, where I am faulty, but I grieve not a little to be misreported to her Majesty and your lordship. I dare truly avow, if the soldiers of this place and the burghers of the same had not been kept both in good order and discipline, in this tickle time of my being here, this place had not been now in her Majesty's commandment. My trust is, your lordship will conceive well of me until I deserve the contrary. Your lordship shall find me a constant man in duty and loyalty towards her Majesty; and always one very willing and glad to do your lordship and yours all the service which I shall be able.—Ostend, 11 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 71.]
Names of the divers noblemen that came to the Commissioners at their first meeting in the Low Countries, at the place of meeting near Ostend, in tents.
Duke of Parma; Marquis of Guasto, general of the cavalry; Marquis of Renti, admiral; Don John de Medicis; Don John Manrique; Count Egmont; Marquis of Malespine; Count Octavio de Mansuelt; Count de Galuon; Count Nicolao de Cesis; M. de la Motte; M. de Fresin.
Besides the Commissioners: Count of Arenbergh; M. de Champigni, baron de Renetz; President Richirdio; John Baptista Maes, Advocat fiscal of Brabant; Flamont Garnier, secretary.
Endd. 1588. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 175.]
April 11/21. Capt. Guillaume Suderman to Walsingham.
Apology for not writing earlier, assurances of respect etc. Only writing now at the persuasion of Mr. Milez and Mr. Tibault, who are about to accompany Lord Cobham.—Ostend, 21 April, 1588, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. French.
1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 73.]
April 11. Lord Cobham to Burghley.
As Mr. Cecil wishes to return home with what has passed to-day at our meeting between this town and Newport, I will not trouble you with many lines, but only heartily pray you for expedition of such resolution as her Majesty may now take.
“The cessation of arms will, as I take it,” in some sort be granted; for they have promised to propound it to the Duke, and send us word either to-morrow or Saturday; and then they look to have us nominate another place.” I hope your lordship sees how we have hitherto proceeded to her Majesty's great honour. If there be any that think otherwise I wish they had my place.
Within these two days, 700 mariners have passed from Dunkirk to the Sluse. “And as soon as a place is appointed for our next meeting, truly they will go so roundly to work that if we know not in points her Majesty's pleasure … they will say that we do but seek to win time, as now they daily charge us. I heartily pray you to have care of us; that we may not stay here, to our great charges and doubt of our health …—Ostend, 11 April,
Postscript. “Touching the deputy lieutenants' information that gentlemen that have charge of footmen do refuse to find [them?], it is that I have and do mislike; but for that themselves do it, the rest do refuse it; but it is against my will. I pray your lordship to help it.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 94.]
April 11. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
We have received her Majesty's letter of March 29, touching the hostages, and her gracious direction to my lord Admiral for our safety, for the which we are infinitely bound to her. Two of her pinnaces, the Moon and the Spy are arrived here already.
“As touching the words in her commission prope Berghen up Zoome … we think ourselves much bounden unto her that the is pleased we may assure the Commissioners on the other side of amendment, if they will needs require it…
“If it shall happen at our next meeting they shall stand upon the matter of cessation of arms, it may please your lordships to move her that we may know her pleasure…. And that she will with speed take order for this town; for that we are informed that presently after our departure from hence there will be some attempt given against it, there be no order taken therefor … so much the rather for that President Richardot did so earnestly affirm at his being here, that it was never meant that our safeconducts should extend further than to the places in the King's possession, notwithstanding that the words be general—in quocunque loco in Belgio….”—Ostend, 11 April, 1588.
Signed by all five commissioners. Add. to the Lords, with the additional words “For her Majesty's affairs. Haste, post haste. H. Derby.” Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 105.]
April 12. Captain Edmond Bannaster to Walsingham.
Understanding that certain companies are to be called away to England, he begs his honour to favour him so much as that his own may be one of them.
“The Prince of Parma groweth very strong in Flanders…. The common bruit is that he means to attempt to pass for ‘Cootland’.”—Bergen op Some, 12 April, 1588.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 74.]
April 12. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
“Your lordship's letters were comfortable unto us many ways, as well for the matter as for that we understand thereby of your recovery.
“We flatter ourselves that we have dealt as far as might be to her Majesty's honour and the advancement of the cause … We passed over the matter of the commission, of policy for the time, yet your lordship doth see that the Duke hath not any commission at all but by the letter that was written to the King of Denmark or such like; but he promiseth in his commission that he will ratify it. What reason they have in the matter of cessation of arms your lordship will best judge upon the reading of it, for I have sent Mr. Cecil the copy of our dispatch … With what countenance we can say we are not yet resolved of the place of residence we know not. What their intention is we cannot conjecture further than to be doing of somewhat out of hand; for her Majesty's part it seemeth they will be glad to conclude.
“There was an intention to have moved to know whether they would have gone forward with the treaty at this place of meeting, but that we thought it untimely, and also that they would not consent thereunto …
“It seemeth that if they would grant cessation of arms, yet her Majesty is not to omit her preparations as long as they keep theirs. It may please your lordship to call to remembrance what was done at the first time of the treaty between the King of Spain and the French, when both the camps did lie about Amiens; whether the treaty of Chercamp or of Cambresis was not holden, it is not in my remembrance.
“God direct all things for the best. There is an entry made; God forbid that anything should be omitted.
“Touching Mr. Cecil I cannot write anything but that I am assured he loveth and liketh me and he is assured I love and like him; and your lordship hath great cause to rejoice in him …”—Ostend, 12 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Flanders III. f. 107.]
April 12. Dr. Rogers to Burghley.
I received your lordship's letters of the 8th on the 10th, by my Lord Warden. I think the Duke's sincerity to be beyond exception, “but in her Majesty's affairs, or in appeasing these disturbed provinces … I shall not at any time trust thereto, although he confirmed the same by most solemn oath, no not though he received the Sacrament thereon …” If “her Majesty wishes acceleration of the peace the chief point will be its maintenance….”
Yesterday, April 11, “upon motion of cessation of arms, the Earl of Arembergh in open session said that he saw no cause why the peace might not be concluded before the articles for cessation of arms would be agreed upon; the treaty between the crown of England and the house of Burgundy being already made, and lacking nothing but the point of renovation etc. Which words argueing expedition; and her Majesty throughout the Instructions intending nothing to the contrary, your lordship may easily conjecture (the words uttered by the Duke in my letters to her Majesty touching the Hollanders and Zeelanders etc. [being] remembered) how great matters in short time may be accomplished … assuring your lordship the only way to prevent all mischiefs to consist, as I think, in expedition. For if the Spanish commissioners shall by their next despatch be able to certify the King of her Majesty's propositions, I think (if the King and the Duke's meaning be sincere) they shall have occasion to concur with her Majesty in all wished security etc.; which happening contrariwise, the prepared forces on both sides, and the time, now inviting and shortly pressing war, considered, I cannot see how by long treaty … the same shall so speedily be furthered. My lord, the post hasteth, and I, consequently forced to finish my letters …”—Ostend, 12 April, 1588.
Postscript. “The Earl of Derby having been here about a sevennight sore vexed with the stone, and a tertian [ague] … I assure your lordship so ventured himself as I think no private person of mean ability would have done the like.”
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley as brought by Robert Cecil. Seal of arms. 1 p. closely written. [Ibid. f. 109.]
April 12. The Earl of Derby to Burghley.
Yesterday they met and conferred with the King's commissioners; were received very honourably, and have no cause to distrust the success of their labours. For himself, he has these nine days kept his bed; [details of ailments], so with what peril he stirred abroad, Robert Cecil will report, who will also inform his lordship what has passed; whereof moreover they have now written at large. “Truly if their intent concur with their pretence … all will fall out well; for this meeting was in all respects to her Majesty's great honour” and they and their followers used with great courtesy.” Is even now in bed, and has much ado to sign this letter.—Ostend, 12 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Sent by Robert Cecil. ½ p. [Flanders III. f. 111.]
April 12. The Commissioners to Walsingham.
Upon the 10th inst. M. La Motte came with horse, foot and divers carriages, waggons and tents, to a place within a mile of this town, towards Newport; whereof having understanding, we sent to have the tents to be set … and the soldiers removed, both which were done. And so the place was chosen in a fair green within half a mile of this town … where there were three tents set for her Majesty's commissioners … and three other, towards Newport, for their commissioners, and one great tent between them for the meeting, and the other for a dining place; with four or five for officers.
“The 11th, by nine of the clock, the Count d'Arenberghe, M. Champagny, President Richardot, Dr. Maius and Secretary Garnier, the King's commissioners, arrived … accompanied with the Marquis of Guasto, the Marquis of Renty, Don John de Medicis, the Count Egmont, and the most part of the Duke's court, with two or three hundred horses. Soon after nine of the clock, although my Lord of Derby was very sick, both of the stone and a tertian; having kept his bed eight days, and in such case as it was much doubted how he might possibly go without great danger of his life, yet his Lordship preferred her Majesty's service before his own health; and we went all to the place,” when they were met by M. La Motte; and, near to the tents, by Count d'Aremberghe and M. Champagny (carried in his chair) and the rest of the commissioners, who brought us into our tent and left us to repose a space. Going to the tent of assembly, we were again met by the commissioners, who gave us the right hand and the upper place of sitting.
Then we began the speech, saying that our delay in coming was partly from contrary winds, and partly from the rumours of great preparations in Spain and in this country; both out of Italy and Germany, “whereby her Majesty, as a Queen both of magnaminity and wisdom, did to her great charges, arm herself to be in readiness, both by sea and by land, as well for her defence as also for offence; yet, relying upon the Duke's good meaning, and being always inclined to peace, she had sent us thither to deal therefor with all diligence, hoping the others would do the like.
To this Richardot answered “that it was well known her Majesty was well able to make preparations to defend herself and to annoy her enemy; but there had been always amity between her and the house of Burgundy; which by occasion had of late been interrupted; yet he trusted, by God's grace, that old friendship should be renewed, and become ‘straighter’ than ever it was.
“Hereunto it was replied, that seeing it had pleased God to incline the hearts of her Majesty and of the Duke so well towards peace, then it was our parts to use diligence in execution; and to come to the viewing and collating of our commissions and to proceed without delay. Whereupon the commissions were read and collated; first her Majesty's and then the Duke's, whereof we send a copy enclosed; and forasmuch as their commission is only from the Duke, we demanded whether they would promise to bring one from the King if we went forward with the treaty.” They said it needed not, as the Duke was governor-general, and had a particular commission for this matter; as shown by the King's letters to the King of Denmark. “Further (they said) the Duke doth promise (as appeareth by the words of their commission) to procure the King to ratify whatsoever should be done by them as he had ratified the treaty of the Duke with the Queen Mother for Cambray, and divers other. We answered we would consider of the copy … [but] that we thought it was reason they should provide a commission directly from the King; for that a conclusion of peace could neither be made by any Governor nor by general letters. “Yet in the mean time … it were good that arms should cease on both sides; so much the rather for that speeches to that effect had been uttered both by M. Champagny and Richardot, before our coming over. Whereunto they said the matter was of great importance and not indifferent for the King; for if the Queen had cessation of arms, she needed not to be further charged any ways: But for them, although they should have cessation … yet they must of necessity keep their forces to withstand them that her Majesty could not rule; and were more enemies to her than we thought. And although order were taken since our coming that there should be no annoyance unto them from Ostende, yet daily they were molested from Axil, Berghen up Zoome, Lyfkins Hooke, Bierefleet, Zeelande, them of Lillo and other places, even as far as Brussels and Ghente … And that the making of this cessation of arms would be longer in doing than the conclusion of a good peace.
“Hereunto it was replied that cessation of arms was necessary, to avoid charges on both sides and such accidents as might happen … to disturb the treaty. And that they of Holland and Zeeland ought in reason to be glad of it. Then they said that they of Holland and Zeeland might come into the treaty” and have the benefits thereof. And so much time had been lost, “that it was not for them to stay now as they had done ever since the winning of Sluse … And then they were instant with us to name the place for the treaty.
“Whereunto we said that first her Majesty did look there should be cessation of arms,” and would know what they would say to that point, being resolved and ready for one or the other. “And for the place, we would confer with them …” And thus we retired to our tents and they to theirs; and after conference, returned and required a precise answer, as cessation of arms must of necessity continue during the treaty, at the least. “Whereunto they answered they would advertise the Duke, and send us word in a day or two of his pleasure; whereof we were right glad; because we had not full instructions from her Majesty either what we should do therein or to what place we should repair. “And so we broke up friendly and went to dinner, where we were very honourably served.—
After dinner, partly because of my Lord of Derby's weakness, who could eat nothing and was constrained to go to bed, “partly because the Count d'Arenberghe and his company had 17 long miles to ride, and partly because the Duke was not far off to see our meeting, we departed.
“The governor of this town hath used himself very wisely and stoutly; both for the guard of this town … and for her Majesty's honour. And other captains and gentlemen behaved themselves very orderly and willingly … and amongst others Captain Lamberte did good service in going to and fro between M. la Motte and us, for the ordering of our meeting.
“We pray you heartily to move her Majesty that we may know her pleasure is these things and all others that it shall please her to have done; for hitherto, in our opinions, things being so raw as they were at our coming, we have negotiated both to her Majesty's honour, and, as we hope, to her good liking….”—Ostend, 12 April, 1588.
Signed by all the Commissioners. Addressed “For her Majesty's affairs” [to Walsingham]: “haste, haste, haste,” and below signed by Lord Derby. 4½ pages. [Flanders III. f. 113.]
Draft of the above.
Endd. Draft of Dr. Dale's letter touching the first meeting of the Commissioners, 11 April, 1588. 16 pp. [Ibid. f. 96.]
April 13. Captain John Price to Walsingham.
Has had by his honour's good means, her Majesty's letter in his behalf to Lord Willoughby that he should have the next company that fell vacant. At this present there are one or two that are fallen void, but his lordship denies him “of it.” Prays for a favourable letter to Lord Willoughby in his behalf.—Brill, 13 April, 1588.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 76.]
April 14. Sir William Russell to the Earl of Leicester.
“I have received your lordship's letters of the 8th and 10th, and have, according to your direction, taken order with M. de Terlone for the levying of 1000 mariners. I find these people so well affected unto her Majesty and so desirous to do her service that if I might presently receive her Highness' commission, and ‘list’ … I know it would presently be effectuated, although I am in doubt the Estates will be as slow in hastening this as they have heretofore showed themselves in other weighty affairs.
“I hear the Duke of Parma's forces and preparations continue still at Sluyce, with pretence to land in this island or to attempt this place. There is lately apprehended one Strente, being suspected to be employed by Lamotte, to practise with the townsmen or soldiers for this town, but yet he confesseth nothing.”
I beseech your honour, in regard of the long discontinuance of pay, to hasten the sending over of some treasure, for the soldiers are greatly discontented and in danger of being corrupted, now that we daily expect the enemy's coming. Also to forward the sending over of two or three of the Queen's ships, to join with these if the enemy shall offer to issue forth, and the proportion of victuals, match and lead for the small shot, which we greatly want.—Flushing, 14 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. [Holland XXIII. f. 78.]
April 14. Sir William Drury to Walsingham.
Thanks for having spared the service of this bearer, Mr. Charles, asks that, if not needed, Charles may return as a guide to his wife, “whom I am most willing to have hither for two or three months, to pass away some part of this summer.” Mr. Charles will tell how things have passed here, “and in what good terms they now stand, by the industry and travail of the Lord General.” Has no news. If the enemy should approach, would pray for assistance in such things as be necessary for a place of such importance.—Bargan up Zoom, 14 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 80.]
April 14/21. Guillaume de Bloys dict Treslong to [Leicester].
Concerning the request for a levy of 1000 sailors for her Majesty's service; if the funds and commission for this had come with the letter, most certainly her Majesty might have been already provided with the said number, or even more, from those serving in Holland and Zeeland. Sends a list showing the numbers of sea captains, officers and other sailors who are ordinarily in these countries; but it is very necessary to have a month's pay for all, officers and sailors.
Commends himself to the earl's good graces, being out of favour with those of Holland and Zeeland for having been a faithful servant to her Majesty and to Leicester; hoping to receive some good news of his employment in her Majesty's and Leicester's service; and praying above all to recommend to the earl's care those of Camfere and ‘Ghetruenberghe.’—Vlissinge, 24 April, 1588, stilo novo.
Signed. Add.
“To his Excellency.” Seal of arms. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 82.]
April 14/24. Francesco di Aguilar, Governor of Dunkirk to the [Duke of Parma.]
A courier of the Earl of Derby, the Queen's ambassador, yesterday brought me a letter from your Highness of the 16th inst., in which you direct me to release an English master mariner called Richard Thomas and return what was taken from him.
Those of Gravelines brought him here, not knowing your Highness' wishes that those with a passport from the ambassadors should go free; and as he was released without paying anything, I told the courier to send him here so that I may have restitution made of that which they say they have taken. The courier promised to do so. Your Highness also writes that 40l. have been taken from Henry Siliman, another English sailor, by one Pedro Pablo. The Englishman admitted to the courier that Pedro did not enter the boat and took nothing, and he told me the same. So I let him go free. But he said that when he arrived in England he missed 10l. sterling, given him by the Earl of Derby, which he had hidden at the foot of the mast, with some, shirts, cloaks and hose. It was unlikely that these were stolen since he himself admits that only 6 men came on board and remained less than a quarter of an hour at night. I have made enquiry, as directed. The sailors declare on oath that they never saw the money and did not take the goods. From what the Englishman and the sailors state I feel sure they did not take the money; for it was not possible since three galleons of the queen fought with ours little more than two leagues away, and there was no time to take the master and pass him to the warship and on the way take some cloaks.
Some 20 days ago a ship of certain Spanish and Flemish merchants left here, said to be worth 50,000 ducats. Escaping from some vessels of La Rochelle it entered the English port of Anton, where it is treated as a prize, being unladed and the master and sailors arrested, though it entered of its own accord.—Dunkirk, 24 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. 'A Su Alteza.' Spanish.pp. [Flanders III. f. 117.]
April 15. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Has often solicited his lordship to hasten the sending of pay, but by reason of the great wants of the poor soldiers, must again beseech his furtherance therein; and the rather that he has apprehended one Strent, and also the serjeant of a captain at ‘William State’; “who, by the confession of one Sucket were sent by Lamott to practise with the soldiers of this garrison for the yielding of this place; which persons as yet have confessed little of themselves, but will wrest some more from them upon some torture.”
Has intelligence “that the Duke of Parma's preparations and forces are all in readiness at Sluys, purposely meaning to land in this island or in some of these islands near adjoining.”
Repeats request for two or three of her Majesty's ships which the Estates greatly desire, and to cause victuals and other needful supplies to he sent forthwith.—Vlisshing, 15 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 84.]
April 15. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
To the same effect as that to Burghley, above.
Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 86.]
April 15. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
“I have received your honour's letter of the 10th … wherein I perceive the little hope there is for those that have declared themselves wholly to depend on her Majesty; wishing that my Lord Steward at his being here had not dealt so poor with those captains of Treverr, who are now so far entered into this action as it will cost them their lives, if some good order be not taken by her Majesty for them.
“The sending of her letters to them and the burghers, with some money, made them and myself believe that her Majesty would not so soon have been weary of this island, being a place of so great importance.
“If it would please your honour to write to Mr. ‘Killygre’ to deal with the Count ‘Moriss’ and the Estates General, that they may remain still in the garrison … it will something satisfy them, for all that they have done has been upon the Queen's letter; the which they hold for a sufficient warrant, with the money [which] also she sent.
“I have, according to your honour's letter dealt with some captains of this island concerning mariners; wherein I find them so ready, as if her Majesty will have three or four thousand she may; being generally very well affected towards her service.
“I have also talked with M. Terlone to see if we could find shipping also for them; the which he thinketh may easily be done; and hath to that effect written to my Lord Steward.
“Myself seeing the little care her Majesty hath of this place, and the great wants our soldiers endure for lack of pay, and the many practices that the enemy hath in this town, as I know not whom to trust, am very anxious to be rid of this place, if that, before my going, your honour and the rest of my honourable friends might get me some suit of her Majesty that the world might see I parted not with this government in disgrace; the which some of the Estates have already given out.—Flushing, 15 April.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with short note of contents. Seal of arms. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 88.]
April 15. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Has received his honour's letters of the 10th; has dealt with M. de ‘Terlone,’ and finds that the 1000 mariners may easily be had. Fears the States will be backward in forwarding this, as in all other things, but if her Majesty will send her commission and list for taking them up, these people are so well-affected and ready to do her service that the aforesaid number may easily be gathered.—Vlisshing, 15 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 90.]
April 15. Thomas Brune to Walsingham.
According to his honour's order in his letter to the Deputy and Assistants of the merchants, and in another to himself, he and Mr. Walker “are entered into bonds one to another in 16l. sterling to stand and abide the end which shall be by them set down under the Deputies' and four of the Assistants' hands and seals; which end and full determination with the just complaints on both sides” certified to his lordship, “the faults will apparently be seen where it was and with whom … for which order taken, and end that shall ensue thereof” proceeds by his honour's favour for which he most humbly thanks him, as otherwise he should hardly, without great loss and trouble have come to any end with him.—Mydelbroughe, 15 April, 1588.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 92.]
April 15. The Commissioners to Walsingham.
Yesterday, the 14th instant, in the afternoon, Secretary Garnier arrived in this town, with four of the captains of Odenbourgh. This morning, about eight o'clock, we met in Lord Derby's house he being sick in bed, not yet rid of his ague, but out of danger; where, after ordinary salutations … “Garnier said that whereas there had been matters of cessation of arms proposed at our last meeting, his Alteze thought it strange at this time, because he had so great an army upon his hands, which he could not employ, the time of the year now coming on so fast, and of necessity he must rid them out of Flanders to ease the country, namely harvest being so near, for that otherwise they would spoil it…. Furthermore, the conditions were not indifferent; because her Majesty should be assured from all the King's army, and yet she could not assure the Duke from divers places, which she could not command; and named the places contained in this enclosed; neither was it certain whether there would be any peace concluded; and if it should fall out otherwise; his Alteze should not be able to give account to the King and to the world for the time lost. And therefore his Alteza desired not to be pressed … but that the treaty might go forward well enough as it was when the French army and the King was at Dorlance….” Hereupon, we went up to my lord of Derby, and after conference returned and answered: That the matter of cessation of arms was not proposed by us, but mentioned by them before our coming and delivered in open Council at Bruges by the Duke's commandment that it should be the first thing spoken of and accorded, as soon as her Majesty's Commissioners did come; and so not sought by her, but for that if they were desirous of peace, as they seemed to be, there was no better way than cessation on arms, without which, many accidents might happen to break off the treaty. Therefore her Majesty had ordered us to speak thereof “as a thing moved for their benefit; and not to be called in question.” Neither was it strange that it should be granted even if peace did not follow. [Further reference to what happened during the negotiations for the treaty of Cambresis]. Garnier replied that it would profit little to have cessation for a short time; and soldiers being in the field would not hold from outrages; but when his Alteza should see what likelihood there would be of some good conclusion, he may then judge what reason there were to grant it, and not before.
Upon this, we again withdrew to consult with my lord of Derby, and on our return said “that we were assured this answer of the Duke's would come unlooked for to her Majesty; and therefore as the Duke's commissioners at our last meeting desired respite to know the Duke's pleasure upon this point, so we would make report unto her Majesty of this audience … and thereupon do as we were commanded by her; and so ended, and invited him to dinner.
After dinner, Garnier, falling in discourse and admitted to take his leave of my lord of Derby … said that he thought there might be a means to devise for this matter: that her Majesty might give commandment to all the towns in her possession not to use any hostility unto any of the King's army, or under his present obedience, and that the Duke might likewise give the like command to them of his army … to extend on both sides, both by land and by sea; and if either part did annoy the other, then they should be punished and make restitution; and thereby tacite, a cessation of arms might ensue; as it hath done in these parts of Ostend since the coming of her Majesty's commissioners hither…. And this not to extend to them of Holland and Zeeland, and the Provinces United, except they do desire it, or else that they desire her Majesty to require it in their names. Then being demanded whether he said this of himself or by command from the Duke, he answered he did speak it of himself, but he thought the Duke would not mislike of it, Whereunto was replied that if he had brought this answer from the Duke, himself, then her Majesty might be informed thereof. Whereupon he proffered that he would know the Duke's pleasure and send us word by writing to-morrow. And so took his leave.
“Garnier said further, amongst other talk, that they perceived we did always go about to draw from them, but would accord nothing ourselves. And thought that if we would name the place … and begin to make some proposition of our meaning, that his Alteza would be more willing to yield in these points.” We asked him “whether he had brought any other commission than that which was delivered, and showed him his copy … He said it was inepta and that he was ashamed of it when he heard it read (for he had never seen it before) and that he would make known and send it.
As touching the place, after thinking of all on this coast, we like best of Borborghe, but the other side say it is not of sufficiency to receive both trains. If we cannot induce them to be contented with it, then we think Bruges the meetest; if the Duke will remove his court and our fugitives from thence, and suffer us to pass thither by sea, by Scluse,” wherein we pray you to know her Majesty's pleasure, as also what further she would have us to do, on the points contained in this letter or any others; for they expect to be satisfied in this without any further delay.
It may please you to inform her Majesty that we think the Duke hath not any such commission as she has appointed us to require … neither can we learn that he is able to deliver hostages of quality … nor that his authority doth so far extend: in which we must know her Majesty's pleasure with speed, before our next conference.—Ostend, 15 April, 1588.
Postscript. We waited till this 16th day for answer from Garnier, as promised, but hear not of him.
Signed by all the Commissioners. Add. Endd. with note of contents by Maynard.closely written pp. [Flanders III. f. 119.]
Draft for the above letter. 16 pp. [Ibid. f. 142.]
Enclosure. Places which Secretary Grunier said were not under the commandment of her Majesty, to keep cessation of arms.”
In Flanders. Terneuze; Axelles; Bliemliet; Lieffkenshouck; and the forts of the Doule.
In Brabant. Gertrydenbergh; Huesden; Bommel.
In Gueldres. Wachtendonc; Blyenbeck; and the towns of Fiel, Arnhem and others.
In the quarter of Zutfen. Doeticum; Lochum; Sheerenberg and other forts.
In Frize. Most part of the country.
“The number of the companies as well of horsemen as footmen which were reported by Garnier to be in wages with the Duke.”
Spaniards. Three old and two new terzos.
Italians. Two terzos and a new one, of 18 ensigns each.
Germans. Five regiments of the Comte d'Arenberg, 12 ensigns each.
Walloons. Regiments of Noircarmes; Count Egmont; Marquis de Renty; Sieur de Frizile; Baron de Balancon;
Old regiments. Count Octavio Mansfeld; Charles Maxel, 110 men.
Burgundians. De Varembon, 11 companies; Colonel Stanley, ten of Irish.
Scottish. Col. Patton, 6 companies.
Les Volantes. Number uncertain.
Old soldiers, not in companies,—in all, 5,300.
D'ordonnance de cheval [i.e. free companies] gens d'armes de Manxfeld [Count Mansfelt]; d'Arscot; le Prince de Chimay; the Marquis d'Havray; the Comtes d'Egmont; de Barlaimont and d'Arenberg; M. de Bailleul; Marquis de Renty; Comte de Reux; Comte de Bossu, and two or three others.
Light horse.
Marquis de Guasto; Don Ferdinand de Ratel.
Don Antonio d'Arragon, son of Terra Nuova, governor of Milan.
Dom Santio de Leva.
Dom Ambrosio de Landriano.
Hannibal Gonzaga; Pietro Guatra; Appio Conty.
Comte Nicolo de Zezis.
Colonel Verdugo; Captain Contterero.
Don Juan d'Aguaya.
Comte de Hochstrate.
M. de Baillon; M. de Villars.
Captains l'Escolle, Carondelet, La Biche, Pradille.
Dom Carlo de Luna; Dom Filippo de Robbes; Diazo Cappezza; Coradin.
Three Albanians. George Cressin; Nicholas and George Basto; M. de Poignes.
Captains Caboche and Mondragon.
Commandator Moree.
Francisco Nicoli; — Halier.
Camillo del Neutry, Francisco del Monte.
Castellano de la Vela.
Dom Frederico de Castro, with 100 lances.
Memo in English: “It is given out that the Archduke Ferdinando's son is coming with six thousand foot and eight thousand horses. And that there are 700 mariners shipped of late at Dunkirk. And 400 come newly from Bamborough to Sluys.”
Endd. French.pp. [Flanders III. f. 135.]
Places which Garnier said were not under the commandment of her Majesty, to keep the cessation of arms.
Two other copies. [Ibid. ff. 200, 248].


  • 1. Over “as of yourselves take some apt occasion to” underlined for deletion.
  • 2. On the back of the letter, Burghley has written “Ro. Cecil.”